Sunday, December 27, 2009

Poplie radio show, 27th of December 2009

Last radio show at Poplie radio for 2009. Lucky enough I have finished already with the year's review and countdown, so I felt free to play anything! An eclectic mix then, ranging from eastern melodies to trip-hop and dubstep. I hope you enjoy the show and see you on the next one on the 3rd of January! Feel free to download the show from the right hand column of the blog!

Background illustration by JACK

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Season's greetings!

It's this time of the year again to be with friends and loved ones and family and enjoy the warmth of love and steal a bit of well deserved rest to enter the new year with a renewed energy and zest! I wish all of you, my readers, a happy and healthy new year, full of love and joy and many many fulfilled desires!

(Jason Wu's Androgyny Avantguard doll dressed in Mel Odom's Gene Criss Cross gown - check my doll blog for more details)

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Top 20 Countdown for albums of the decade - final list

As promised, here is the comprehensive top-20 list voted by 77 Greek bloggers.

No.20. Last Shadow Puppers – The Age Of The Understatement - 2008 (160 points – 12 bloggers) - my no.7

No.19. P.J. Harvey – Stories From The City, Stories From The Sea - 2000 (175 points – 15 bloggers)

No.18. Daft Punk – Discovery - 2001 (181 points – 14 bloggers) - my no.8

No.17. Sufjan Stevens – Illinoise - 2005 (200 points – 16 bloggers)

No.16. Κόρε Ύδρο – Φτηνή Ποπ Για Την Ελίτ - 2006 (216 points – 13 bloggers)

No.15. White Stripes – Elephant - 2003 (210 points – 12 bloggers)

No.14. Primal Scream – XTRMNTR - 2000 (226 points – 18 bloggers)

No.13. Flaming Lips – Yoshimi Battles The Pink Robots - 2002 (229 points – 13 bloggers)

No.12. Portishead – Third - 2008 (256 points – 15 bloggers)

No.11. Radiohead – In Rainbows - 2007 (258 points – 15 bloggers) - my no.13

No.10. Godspeed You! Black Emperor – Lift Your Skinny Fists Like Antennas To Heaven - 2000 (268 points – 17 bloggers)

No.09. Burial – Untrue - 2007 (324 points – 20 bloggers) - my no.2

No.08. LCD Soundsystem – Sound Of Silver - 2007 (341 points – 21 bloggers)

No.07. Antony & The Johnsons – I Am A Bird Now - 2005 (358 points – 15 bloggers)

No.06. Franz Ferdinand – Franz Ferdinand - 2004 (365 points – 27 bloggers)

No.05. Sigur Ros – Agaetis Bujurn - 2000 (UK) (366 points – 19 bloggers)

No.04. Interpol – Turn On The Bright Lights - 2002 (479 points – 18 bloggers)

No.03. Radiohead – Kid A - 2000 (524 points – 25 bloggers)

No.02. Strokes – Is This It - 2001 (669 points – 37 bloggers)

No.01. Arcade Fire – Funeral - 2004 (987 points – 38 bloggers)

I had four albums in the top-20 (and two more in the 40-21 list), I did not expect to coincide more with my fellow bloggers! Enjoy the music!

Top 20 Countdown for albums of the year - final list

If you have been following my blog album countdown this month, here is the final list as compiled by Gone4sure from the votes of 73 Greek bloggers:

40. Editors – In This Light And In This Morning (99 points - 7 bloggers)

39. Black Heart Possession – Six (101 points – 8 bloggers)

38. Muse – Resistance (103 points – 7 bloggers)

37. Soap & Skin – Lovetune For Vacuum (103 points – 8 bloggers)

36. Passion Pit – Manners (104 points - 9 bloggers)

35. JJ – JJ2 (109 points – 11 bloggers)

34. Bibio – Ambivalence Avenue (110 points – 10 bloggers)

33. Dead Weather – Horehound (112 points – 7 bloggers)

32. Big Pink – A Brief History Of Love (114 points – 14 bloggers)

31. Lily Allen – It’s Not Me, It’s You (115 points – 8 bloggers)

30. Memory Tapes – Seek Magic (116 points – 8 bloggers)

29. Dead Man’s Bones – Dead Man’s Bones (116 points – 10 bloggers)

28. Broken Records – Until The Earth Begins To Part (121 points – 6 bloggers)

27. Archive – Controlling Crowds (123 points – 10 bloggers)

26. Κόρε Ύδρο – Όλη Η Αλήθεια Για Τα Παιδιά του ‘78 (125 points – 7 bloggers)

25. Danger Mouse & Sparklehorse (140 points – 9 bloggers)

24. Sonic Youth – Eternal (154 points – 12 bloggers)

23. Kasabian – Wesr Ryder Pauper Lunatic Asylum (161 points – 9 bloggers)

22. Atlas Sound – Logos (171 points – 14 bloggers)

21. Royksopp – Junior (173 points – 14 bloggers) - my no.10

20. Florence & The Machine – Lungs (176 points – 15 bloggers) - my no.19

19. Antony & The Johnsons – The Crying Light (177 points – 13 bloggers)

18. Fever Ray – Fever Ray (177 p[oints – 15 bloggers)

17. Jack Peñate – Everything Is New (184 points – 15 bloggers) - my no.5

16. Antlers – Hospice (191 points – 12 bloggers)

15. White Lies – To Lose Myself (191 points – 16 bloggers)

14. Wild Beasts – Two Dancers (232 points – 15 bloggers)

13. Girls – Album (245 points – 21 bloggers)

=. Fuck Buttons – Tarrot Spot (253 points – 17 bloggers)

11. Arctic Monkeys – Humbug (253 points – 17 bloggers)

10. Boy – Please Make Me Dance (281 points – 16 bloggers)

09. Bat For Lashes – Two Suns (305 points – 28 bloggers) - my no.1

08. Yeah Yeah Yeahs – It’s Blitz (320 points – 24 bloggers) - my no.12

07. A Place To Bury Strangers – Exploding Head (337 points – 23 bloggers)

06. Flaming Lips – Embryonic (408 points – 27 bloggers)

05. Grizzly Bear – Veckatimest (414 points – 25 bloggers)

04. The Pains Of Being Pure At Heart – S/T (421 points – 30 bloggers)

03. The Horrors – Primary Colours (432 points – 30 bloggers)

02. The XX’s – XX (611 points – 34 bloggers) - my no.6

01. Animal Collective – Merriweather Post Pavillion (784 points – 37 bloggers)

I did not like the no.1 album but that is not the point! Had a great time doing this and will do it again next year! And I hope you got some ideas about new music this year. On another post, the best albums of the decade.

My Best Comics Of The Decade list

I promised Manolis that I would participate in his top-20 comics of the decade bloggers vote. I am a day late (last minute extension granted!) so here it is (and I must say I am not the avid comic reader I used to be), from 20 to 1:

20. Phonogram/The Singles Club - written by Kieron Gillen, illustrated by Jamie McKelvie

19. DC - The New Frontier - Darwyn Cooke

18. Ring Of The Nibelung - Pencils & Inks by P Craig Russell, colours by Lovern Kindzierski - based on Wagner's opera opus

17. Civil War - Script by Mark Millar, pencils by Steve McNiven, inks by Dexter Vines, colouring by Morry Hollowell, lettering by Chris Eliopoulos

16. Harlequin Valentine - written by Neil Gaiman, illustrated by John Bolton

15. Fables, 1001 Nights Of Snowfall - written by Bill Willingham, illustrated by: Charles Vess, Brian Bolland, John Bolton, Michael Wm. Kaluta, James Jean, Tara McPherson, Derek Kirk Kim, Esao Andrews, Mark Buckingham, Mark Wheatley, Jill Thompson

14. Dark Knight Starts Again - written, pencilled and inked by Frank Miller, coloroued by Lynn Varley, lettered by Todd Klein

13. Death: at Death's Door - Jill Thompson

12. Blankets - Craig Thompson

11. Eternals - written by Neil Gaiman, pencils by John Romita Jr, inks by Danny Miki & Tim Townsend, colours by Matt Hollingsworth, Dean White & Paul Mounts, lettered by Todd Klein

10. Whatever Happened To The Caped Crusader? - written by Neil Gaiman, illustrated by Andy Kubert

09. Transmetropolitan - The New Scum written by Warren Ellis and illustrated by Darick Robertson

08. Manifesto - by Ilias Kyriazis

07. Logicomix - Written by Apostolos Doxiadis and Christos Papadimitriou, pencils by Alecos Papadatos, inks by Dimitris Karatzaferis and Thodoris Paraskevas, lettered by Anne Bardy, coloured by Annie Di Donna

06. Persepolis - Marjane Satrapi

05. Marvel 1602 - written by Neil Gaiman, pencilled and inked by Andy Kubert, coloured by Richard Isanove, lettered by Todd Klein

04. Astro City - written by Kurt Busiek, pencilled by Brent Eric Anderson, inked by Will Blyberg, coloured by Sinclair, lettered by Comicraft

03. Murder Mysteries - Written by Neil Gaiman, illustrated by P. Craig Russel, coloured by Lovern Kindzierski, lettered by Galen Showman

02. The Sandman: Endless Nights - Written by Neil Gaiman, illustrated by Dave McKean, P. Craig Russell, Milo Manara, Miguelanxo Prado, Barron Storey, Bill Sienkiewicz, Glenn Fabry, Frank Quitely, lettered by Todd Klein

01. Phonogram/Rue Brittania - written by Kieron Gillen, illustrated by Jamie McKelvie

Monday, December 21, 2009

Poplie radio show, 20th of December 2009

This time around I had my full top-20 album of the year countdown on the show, from no.20 up to no.1. There was enough time to include my top-10 albums of the decade also. The bonus track: as a 2010 harbinger, Groove Armada's I Won't Kneel. I did not queue the track from my no.6 album of the year though (XX's self titled début) so you will not hear Intro at all. The radio show is available to download on the right of this blog.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Top 20 Countdown - no.1

For 2009

No.1 - Bat For Lashes - Two Suns

For the 00's

No.1 - Feist - The Reminder

Incredible album, incredible artist. Feist is someone I cannot get enough of. I had picked this one as best of the year back in 2007 - I must say it ages like good wine.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Top 20 Countdown - no.2

For 2009

No.2 - Tori Amos - Abnormally Attracted To Sin

Her best album for quite a while. See my post about it in the top-20 for the decade. She is in top form again - if only someone can tell her that she does not have to fill all the available cd space.

For the 00's

No.2 - Burial - Untrue

The soundtrack of our times, the sound of the decade, otherworldly music but yet so urban, so close to being the music that plays all the time in our minds, in the air, everywhere. And an archangel behind me at all times.

Friday, December 18, 2009

Top 20 Countdown - no.3

For 2009

No.3 - Kleerup - Kleerup

Released last year in his native Sweden, but only this year everywhere else, Kleerup's self-titled debut album is clearly one of the best albums of the year. An intoxicating mix of electronic instrumentation and great vocals (by the usual suspects: Robyn, Lykke Li, Titiyo, Marit Bergman and Linda Sundblad), it is full of gorgeous songs that stick to your mind and heart no moatter what. He raised the bar quite high.

For the 00's

No. 3 - Kate Bush - Aerial

"The witch is back". Indeed Kate returned with a vengeance, back in 2005, after a 12 year hiatus, to assure us that, mmm yes, she is indeed alive and kicking and in top form. Offering us a masterpiece that few artists can reach, in a way that is inimitably Kate. I hope she does not take that long again for the next one.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Top 20 Countdown - no.4

For 2009

No.4 - Wild Beasts - Two Dancers

This English group releases it's second album (last year's incredible Limbo, Panto is their debut) and managed to outdo themselves. The two singers of the group manage to convey a myriad of emotions infused with rock and funk in a unique way. More!

For the 00's

No.4 - Muse - Absolution

This is their masterpiece. So much beautiful music here, it drives you nuts. And yes, if they have done an album like this one, I can forgive them this year's unimaginative release.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Top 20 Countdown - no.5

For 2009

No.5 - Jack Peñate - Everything Is New

Jack manages to make a brilliant album, with more influences than one can count. Much better than his début, this one finds him at his best, weaving magical rhythms and melodies that keep you wanting for more. I'd love to see him live!

Jack Penate |MTV Music

For the 00's

No.5 - Mark Ronson - Version

Who could have thought that one could release an album of re-recorded old hits from various decades and make a work so original and coherent as this album. Mark Ronson hit the jackpot and became one of the most celebrated producers of the decade.

Poplie radio show, 13th of December 2009

This past Sunday on my radio show I continued with the top-20 album countdown for 2009 and the decade (see relative posts in the blog every day) up until no.8. The second hour of the show was dedicated to Sade, who released their new song, Soldier of Love last week. Their new album won;t be out till February of 2010, so for the show's last hour I played many Sade favourites and ended it with Soldier Of Love. As always you can find the show on the right column of the blog, if you want to listen to it again.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Top 20 Countdown - no.6

For 2009

No.6 - The XX - XX

Great album from this incredible group - from the Intro their music grabs you and does not let you go until the very last track. Playing this over and over without getting tired of it. Dream pop mixed with indie rock to maximum effect.

For the 00's

No.6 Amy Winehouse - Back To Black

The seminal album for a whole generation, it brought back old-fashioned good singing to a music industry harangued by flashy fame addicts and the hunt of the next big thing. If she manages to escape her own addictions, we will have a living legend to listen to for the next years - looking forward to it.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Top 20 Countdown - no.7

For 2009

No.7 - Scott Matthew - There Is An Ocean That Divides

Scott does it again: a heart wrenching album, full of eloquent, elegiac songs that do not want to leave your mind and your heart. And that voice.

For the 00's

No.7 - The Last Shadow Puppets - The Age Of The Understatement

Best album of 2008, one of the best of the decade. These guys sure know how to make great music and pick great producers. And that cover.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

What about the covers? - no.8

For 2009 - no.8 - Empire Of The Sun - Walking On A Dream

In line with their pastiche styling and kitschy outfits, the cover gathers from so many places that it is useless to try and discern them. Awarded an Aria for cover art, the studio Debaser is the culprit of this album sleeve. According to the duo's label's website, the painting of Luke Steele and Nick Littlemore that comprises the album artwork was based on the iconic movie posters for Indiana Jones and Star Wars. And here is what the Debaser team says:

So, as the rollercoaster that is ‘Empire Of The Sun’ gathers momentum, team Debaser have been hard at work illustrating and creating a veritable plethora of crazy new images. Trawling the minds of Nick & Luke has been enlightening, terrifying, hilarious and mind-bending.... usually all at once. But, geez, it’s a lot of fun. We’ve had our illustrations appear as double page and full page spreads in a number of illustrious international mags such as Dazed & Confused, NME, Spin, MixMag, UK Fly, Rolling Stone and a bunch of others. Hell, we’re even the profiled contributors in none other than Dazed & Confused. Check the photo – we look like a couple of thugs, so watch yourself. Keep up the Empire love, we wanna do some more drawings......

The photos of the inner sleeve are from here.

For the 00's - no.8 - Daft Punk - Discovery

The image on the cover keeps up with the "tradition" of the group using their logo in alternate forms on the covers of their albums. This time, it is in liquid, mercurial form, with a rainbow of colours underneath it as shadows of a disco floor ready to burst. The album art direction credits go to Daniel Vangarde (father of Thomas Bangalter, one of the two Daft Punk members, also credited for the art as his bandmate Guy-Manuel de Homem-Christo), Pedro Winter (their manager up to last year)and A-Lex, but most famously to Gildas Loaëc, longtime collaborator and founder of Kitsuné fashion and music label. Kumiko Izumiya and Alexandre Courtes (video director) did the logo design and contributed to the art of the album. Photography by Luis Sanchiz & Mitchell Feinberg.